Your skin is one of four avenues of elimination. No other organ is more busy in discharging impurities from the body than the skin. Next in line are both the lungs and the kidneys. Like the lungs, the skin absorbs oxygen and expels carbon dioxide and water vapor, and like the kidneys, it excretes organic and saline matter. The entire surface of the skin is impregnated with millions of sweat glands which is the drainage system whereby the blood, via perspiration, purifies itself of toxic waste which has been collected from the cells.
There are approximately 17 sq. feet of skin surface. When tiny capillaries are fully dilated, it presents 6 times the capillary surface are of the lungs. This vast blood mini vessel network is required for:
1) nourishing and oxygenating the skin tissue
2) regulating body heat (the blood is cooled when it moves through the surface capillaries)
3) distillation of waste matter from the blood
4) the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between blood and atmosphere
The skin’s blood vessel network is as crucial as the heart for normal circulation. The vast storage capacity of the skin’s blood vessels enable them to act as blood reservoirs which release or store blood as needed.
The lymph vessels transport excess, toxic fluid away from the intracellular spaces and return it to the bloodstream. Lymph acts as a go-between medium for the transfer of vital materials from the blood to the cells, and for cellular debris from the intracellular environment into the blood. The blood feeds the lymph, and the lymph feeds the cells, making the drainage of intracellular lymph one of the most crucial of all the body functions. The superficial lymph vessels terminate just below the outer layer of skin and inter join freely with the deeper lymphatic vessels. Any blockage at the superficial lymphatic level will result in congestion throughout the lymphatic system. Skin-brushing is an excellent way to stimulate the activity of the entire lymphatic system.
“Aliveness” derives from the presence of high-vibratory, vital energy within an organism. This energy, or natural force, which fills the universe is referred to in traditional neuropathology and homeopathy as Vital Force and in Chinese medicine as Chi. Chi is also related to the kidneys.
Chi Defined: Chi is the fundamental energy which sustains life and is present in the vibratory, biological processes of every cell. Chi is the force that animates the metabolic processes which ultimately yield caloric energy. Chi differentiates life from death; it circulates through channels, or meridians, throughout the body. Being an essential matrix for the Chi channels, the skin is a crucial medium for Vital Chi movement. The places at which the various channels and vessels reach the skin’s surface are the pressure points used in acupuncture and acupressure. Aside from the Chi which courses through the channels, a superficial portion of Chi (which the Chinese refer to as Wei Chi or Guardian Chi) flows outside the channels in a non-differentiated layer beneath the skin. The Wei Chi serves as a defensive perimeter protecting against environmental influences such as varying weather conditions, pathogenic microorganisms, pollutants, emotional stresses derived from human interaction and other external challenges.
Now that you know "why", here's "how" --
Let's get started!
• Use a natural (NOT a synthetic) bristle brush with a long handle, so that you are able to reach all areas of your body. Best-case scenario would be one that had a removable head with a strap for your hand.
• Skin brushing should be performed prior to your bath or shower on bare, dry skin with a dry brush (ergo the term "dry" brushing).
• Begin brushing your skin in long sweeping strokes starting from the bottom of your feet upwards, and from the hands towards the shoulders, and on the torso in an upward direction. Always brush towards the heart. Try and brush several (3-5) times in each area, over-lapping as you go.• Avoid sensitive areas and anywhere the skin is broken.
• After dry brushing your skin, rinse off in the shower. Paavo Airola, author of Swedish Beauty Secrets, recommends alternating temperatures in the shower from hot to cold. This will further invigorate the skin and stimulate blood circulation, bring more blood to the outer layers of the skin.
• After getting out of the shower, towel off vigorously and massage your skin with pure plant oil, such as almond, argan, jojoba, sesame, grapeseed or coconut.
For a thorough lymphatic cleansing, it is suggested to perform skin brushing daily for a minimum of three months. Clean your skin brush using soap and water once a week. After rinsing, dry your skin brush in an open, sunny spot to prevent mildew.
Caution: Do not brush on or over skin rashes, wounds, cuts, infections, poison oak or poison ivy.
It takes approximately 3 minutes to dry brush, and it's worth every second to reduce the environmental toxic burden on the body. Some people feel better in a day or two, but like any well designed program, allow 21-30 days to see and experience changes.
We always suggest journaling all changes to your daily routine and tracking results or changes in health. It's a good idea to keep, track and manage your own health history. After all, who better than you? :-)
Every wish for a happy year of optimized health,